[hist-analytic] Frictionless Pulleys --Re: McPherson's Hobbes and Grice on 'implicature' in 1964
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Jlsperanza at aol.com
Fri Feb 12 20:10:00 EST 2010
In a message dated 2/12/2010 12:10:45 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
Baynesr at comcast.net writes:
MacPherson describes his counterfactual approach as
---- Long winded indeed! --- Perhaps you can let us know about his
background. I mean: he got his book published with Oxford alright, but he sounds,
a "new Worlder"?
You should provide the quote where he does go "abstraction". I don't
think it was in the quote you provided this far. In this one he was saying
that the state of nature was a "statement".
----- Thanks for the clarification on your background and your attitudes
towards seccesion and slavery. South of Dixie towards Mid-West, etc. It would
be good to know McPherson's too. (Not because we want to be gossipy, but
surely if we are going to listen to some talk
Hobbes, the Leviathan, the philosophy
we may have a suspicion that if the person is, say, an obdurate Brit,
or a revolutionary American, or a liberal, or whatever, will judge his
views. I don't say pre-judge, just judge (It's a verb I invent).
--- I don't quite follow your views on abstraction, but they are
Indeed 'abstract' is a very complex verb, but I hope McPherson is just
using it alla Roget's Thesaurus to mean:
-- gedanke experiment.
I.e. As when Grice was criticised: What you say is too abstract. Surely we
don't want to say that participants in a conversation do this and do that
as you say they do. He would reply
-- I quote from Chapman:
(Since it took me sometime to rescue it, and it's frictionless PULLEYS and
not solids as I thought, I'm appending that to subject matter to we can
play on the interface
McPherson as Neo-Hobbes
'state of nature'
account of conversation
Purposes of abstract methodology:
to propose a model that may run against the facts
but it still works.
Counterfactual method as 'transcendental justification'
It identifies the minimal elements and proceeds to
discourse on the logic of this or that:
"We never know what Grice is doing", Chapman complains. But she is a
teacher of English at Liverpool. Philosophers do.
She is very clever enough and indeed to unbury the things by Grice from us.
"He does say what he is doing in some "unpublished" stuff.
Personally, I agree with those philosophers who say, "Burn all I left,
after you burn me". But not when it comes to Grice: because I love him, and
because many of that stuff is things he SAID in public. As a historian of 20th
century Oxford philosophy, I'm interested I was interested as to what they
were getting (and it's here that what McPherson is trying to do may
Grice, Chapman says, in this unpublications, "defends his method of working
with as few 'cards on the table' as possible, in the knowledge that this
WILL result in certain deliberate simplifications"
--- "In another lecture, proposing to address some questions put to him a
previous discussion about the nature of his undertaking" he notes that
"considering what is (or may be)
only an IDEAL (emphasis Grice's --JLS) case,
one which is
-- McPherson's abstracted. JLS--
by ABSTRACTING from all considerations
OTHER than those involved in ... [say an illumination of 'contract'.
"I do not claim that there ACTUALLY [empahsis Grice's. JLS]
occur any ... conversations [write state of nature for McPherson]
of this artificially simplified kind."
"It MIGHT" and this is where Grice gets to be my CHARMING GRICE:
"even be that these COULD [emphasis Grice's] not be (cf frictionless
"Since the object of this exercise is to provide a bit of THEORY
-- vs.analysis.JLS, as he had undertaken in "Meaning"--he is
specifically making the change of methodology here]
"...which will EXPLAIN, for a certain family of cases,
why is it that a ...."
"I would suggest that the final
for the adequacy and utility
of this model should be"
"First: can it be used to construct
explanations of the presence of ...
and is it more comprehensive and more economical
than any rival
--- McPherson say on 'divine' formation of contracts --
"Second, "Are there no doubt crude, PRETHEORETICAL (Grice's emphasis.
explanations which one would be prompted to give of ... (this or that)
consistent with, or better still, favourable pointers towards, the
requirements invovled in the model."
I NOTE FOR THE RECORD that Grice is using "implicature" here -- so this
predates the OED3 quote which gives is at 1967. This is 1964.
------ In a way it compares to ideal-observer's theories, which became more
and more influential in moral/political theory and out of which Grice will
draw a few commodities he'll expand in e.g. his Method in philosopoical
The details of how this work for
iii. More importantly, YOU
remains to be seen!
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